Tag Archives: summer

Wrapping Up the Summer and the Bucket List

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Well, today marked my first day back at work so I am officially closing out the “2016 Summer Bucket List.” All things considered, I think I did fairly well. Out of the 25 items on the list, I was able to complete 14. That’s over half so I’m good with that. Several items will carry over to next summer, (I will go zip lining, one of these summers, darn it!!) and hopefully our annual camping trip won’t be canceled by a stomach bug again next year so items #9 and #10 will still make an appearance. 

The one item I think I will remove permanently is #17-“Plant and maintain an herb garden.” This is the second summer that idea crashed and burned or rather shriveled and died. While the notion of having fresh herbs at my finger tips is appealing, I just don’t have the green thumb required.

So, adios Summer Bucket List. You have served me well by keeping me focused and active through out the long hot summer. Now it’s time to get back to work.

I’ll meet you here again next year…😊

 

THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)⭐️⭐️⭐️
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)⭐️
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects ⭐️⭐️⭐️
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals and dentist visits (c)⭐️⭐️
9. Go camping
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family⭐️⭐️⭐️
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach⭐️⭐️
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic get away with my Hubby⭐️
16. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room⭐️
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
19. Reorganize the upstairs closet⭐️
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets⭐️
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.⭐️
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors ⭐️⭐️⭐️
24. Go dancing with my Hubby⭐️
25. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

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The 2016 Summer Bucket List

It’s that time again….

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For the past ten years I have worked at a job that allows me to have the summers off. This is a treat, of course, but it can also seem daunting to someone like me, who thrives on routine. I found that instead of being productive with my time, I was wandering around half-doing a lot of stuff with no direction or plan. Last year I decided to try a little experiment and I called it my “Summer Bucket List” and you know what? It really worked! I wasn’t able to finish everything on the list but it did keep me motivated and focused and when September rolled around, I was able to see exactly what I did with my time off.

Naturally, I was ready to make another handy dandy bucket list this summer!*  Several of the items on my 2016 list are repeats from last summer, either because they were not accomplished last year or, they were so much fun, I wanted to do them again! Anything marked with a (c) is something that makes me a bit nervous or is something I tend to procrastinate about and will therefore be more of a challenge to accomplish. My last day of school this year is June 16th. This is also the date of Miss Dee’s graduation ceremony so that day is pretty much a wash but on June 17th I’ll be off and running! Wish me luck!

BEHOLD THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST!!

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals and dentist visits (c)
9. Go camping
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic weekend away with my Hubby
16. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)
19. Reorganize the upstairs closet
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors
24. Go dancing with my Hubby
25. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

*BTW It would be super awesome to have some company on this adventure so feel free to make your own list if you’re so inclined.

We can compare notes and cheer each other on! 😊

The Weekly Smile….Barbecues, Family, and the Great Outdoors

Our home tends to be a meeting place. My husband and I have always been fortunate, not only to belong to very close families, but also to have the two separate groups be very close as well. His nephews called my mother “Mimom” like her grandchildren did and our mothers often vacationed together. His father invites my sister and her family to his parties and they share photos and recipes over the Internet. We use every opportunity to appreciate and cultivate this close relationship by doing a lot of entertaining.

This weekend will be the official opening of the barbecue season and I just can’t wait. Not only will I be surrounded by the people I love, who are all relaxed and comfortable together, but we will be doing it under a (hopefully) clear blue sky.

Welcome burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, accompanied by coleslaw and potato salad! Welcome sliced watermelon, fresh picked strawberries and corn on the cob. Welcome water ice and Hubby’s famous peach pie. I can taste it all!

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Welcome plastic table cloths and plastic cups brimmingwith homemade iced tea. Welcome coolers filled with beer and juice boxes, cans of lemonade and pitchers of my nieces special sangria. Welcome to the net tents that cover the platters and keep the flies at bay.

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Welcome back to the yard game and the lawn chairs, to tables with umbrellas and citronella candles. Welcome jars of bubbles and sidewalk chalk just to keep the little ones occupied and welcome to the tire swing that has served us faithfully since my own children were little enough to enjoy it.

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But mostly, welcome friends we’ve lost touch with over the long cold winter. Welcome tofamily who arrive, inevitable carrying dishes of salads and desserts to add to our bounty. Welcome laughter and good natured ribbing and the new babies wearing sun hats. Welcome to the smell of sunblock and the feel of the sun on my skin.

Welcome summer.😊

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you by Trent’s World. Stop over and collect a few more smiles or even leave one of your own!

What’s Bugging Me…

Can we talk bugs?

Yeah, with the exception of lady bugs and butterflies, it’s not my favorite subject either but with the warmer weather approaching (or at least trying to), the bugs can’t be far behind. I am already doing battle with a tribe of mini ants that have invaded my kitchen counters. As a hyper neat person who wipes my counter tops obsessively, I find their presence very insulting. Where did they get the idea that crumbs would be readily available in my kitchen? Who told them that?

They showed up last year too and since I don’t like to use any strong chemicals around the cats, I ended up putting little bottle caps filled with a Borax and sugar solution I found on Pinterest, all over the counters. I had them tucked behind the coffee maker and the napkin holders with the idea that the little suckers would crawl through it and then track it back to the nest, knocking out the whole group.   In reality, though, they mostly ignored it. Eventually they went away but it probably had more to do with my screaming at them and carrying on like a lunatic than the concoction in the bottle caps.

The ants aren’t the worst of the bugs though. They might annoy me but they don’t freak me out the way those centipede looking things with the thousand legs do! I’m sure there is a scientific name for this insect but I’m not looking it up, because there are bound to be photos too! Basically, they have long skinny bodies with long skinny legs running up both sides and they move really, really fast.

I’m not the only member of the family who hates these critters. Last summer, one showed up in the tub while Mr D was taking a shower. For five minutes he jumped around screaming like a girl and beating it with a shampoo bottle. I thought he was having some kind of fit! It’s actually lucky he didn’t fall and smack his head. He’s pretty diligent about checking between the shower curtain and liner before he gets in the shower, these days.

If I do encounter a bug, I’m not squeamish about killing it, in fact I get really extra freaked when they get away. I want to know where that sucker’s at! I don’t want him sneaking up on me again. Miss Dee has always been our bug humanitarian. Ever since she was little, she would trap any bugs we found in the house under a cup and carry them outside to set them free. We still call her to take care of them if she is around. Mr D screamed for her when he was doing battle with the bug in the shower but she told him,

“There is NO WAY I coming in the shower to get that bug for you so just MAN UP ALREADY!”

Anyway, I only kill the bugs that invade my house. I figure the outdoors is their domain so I usually leave them alone.  The only exception to this rule is the mosquito.  Here in Jersey, we refer to them as the “State Bird” thanks to their size and hardy constitution. Now we have the added worry of all the illnesses associated with mosquito bites so we will have to be extra diligent this season.

Research has said that mosquitos  tend to be more attracted to certain people. Maybe it has to do with skin types or a certain scent. I don’t really know what it is but they don’t tend bother me too much. My Hubby, on the other hand, can’t even walk the six feet to the trash cans without them zeroing in on him. The poor guy is a mess after he mows the lawn unless he slathers himself with repellent from head to toe.

I’ve tried various tactics for keeping the deck free of them so that he can at least sit outside in the evenings without getting attacked. Last year I planted lemon thyme and mums in pots around the perimeter because I read that they help repell our tiny fanged friends. Didn’t seem to make a difference. We have tiki torches that we put out for BBQs but they aren’t practical for everyday use and since he and I are both sensitive to strong chemical smells, I try not to spray too many products about. Of course when I was a little girl I rode my bike behind the mosquito fog truck but that’s a whole other story!

So what’s a girl to do? How do I make the great outdoors inviting to the humans in the house but uninviting to the insects? Any ideas?

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Miss Dee’s work. These kind of bugs I like.😊.

Quick, Catch the Summer! It’s Getting Away!

imageHow could it possibly be the middle of August already! I feel like I was just posting my Summer Bucket List yesterday! Now, according to the Audrey Hepburn calendar hanging in my kitchen, I only have about three weeks to finish it.  I can tell you, it ain’t happening. Still, I feel like I’ve made a pretty good dent in it and there are several new things in the works…

  • Even though we were not able to make our annual camping trip up to Worlds End we are planning on spending Labor Day weekend at my brother-in-law’s vacation house in the mountains. The resort has a lake so I’m sure we will be doing some kayaking. (#1,#10)
  • The weekend before Labor Day a dear old friend and her husband will be coming from Virginia to visit. Even though we keep in touch through e-mail and phone calls, this will be the first time we have been face to face since my wedding 21 years ago! Needless to say, we have A LOT of catching up to do! I’m really excited.(#11)
  • Tonight, Hubby and I are meeting some friends at a local winery for a night of wine tasting and music. It will be outdoors near the vineyards. A very pretty area.(#22,#23)

Okay, so that will be four or five more things to check off the list. As far as what is left…the drive-in movie is out because the place we were going to go has, apparently, really gone down hill. Several friends have told me about the poor condition of the theater and how out of control the crowds sometimes are so I think I will pass on that. The rest we will see about. Pretty sure the whole zip lining thing isn’t going to happen, at least not this summer. Maybe I can trade it for a trip to the trampoline park. Miss Dee said its a lot of fun. What do you think?

So Audrey says I still have 25 days/9 hours to put this baby to rest.  The final count will be posted on September 8th. Wish me luck! 😊